Want to Engage Millennials?
Meet Them Where They Are
By Eloise D. Bahmasel
This is a complex issue, because we know Millennials are less likely to identify with partisan politics. They vote less for the party (when they vote at all), and more for the issues on the ballot. With technological advances, this generation is less likely to feel connected to their communities than ever before. They’re still engaged, but you won’t find them at Kiwanis or Rotary Club meetings. You probably won’t find them at DNC events either. Knowing that, how do we build the next generation of precinct captains and super volunteers, door knockers and phone bankers, when we aren’t sure that we’ll even get them to the polls? There are no simple answers, but it starts with building authentic relationships with Millennials; and that can only happen when you meet them where they are.
Here are a few ways you can start to build that relationship, and build a base to activate:
- Partnerships. Work with organizations that are already engaging this demographic to co-host events and promote opportuni- ties. Groups like Young Democrats of Illinois, Men4Choice, and Politicos, Bureaucrats and Friends are natural fits.
- Leverage Social Media. Millennials rely on social media for information and interaction. Post interesting content and volunteer opportunities. You’ll earn bonus points when you can engage people with strong followings to share out the information for you.
- Create Opportunities for Face Time. Host happy hours, town halls, etc. Get specific with issues millennials care about, and bring the candi- dates to the table.
Once you’ve got the base built, the question still remains – how do you get them to mobilize? Make it fun, and make it about community. Whether it’s brunch before the doors, or a happy hour afterward, including something social as part of the activity is an attractive proposition.
With ingenuity, persistence, and attention to detail; you can successfully turn Millenni- als into invaluable members of your team. Engagement now means you’ll have these valuable allies for years to come.
Eloise D. Bahmasel is the President of the Young Democrats of Illinois